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W Algarve, Portugal [In-depth Review]

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Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...
Edited by: Nick Ellis
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Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...
& Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

Compliance Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 40U.S. States Visited: 27

Juan has been involved in credit cards, loyalty, travel, and personal finance for more than 10 years. He has worked for several outlets including The Points Guy and Forbes and was previously Editor-in...

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I love staying at a hotel soon after it opens.

So when I got invited to my friend Tommy’s 30th birthday celebrations in Portugal’s Algarve region this September, I absolutely had to take advantage of an opportunity to stay at the latest W property to open its doors in Europe — the W Algarve.

Without any further ado, let’s recap my stay at this amazing hotel.

Hotel Location

The closest large town to the W Algarve is Albufeira — arguably one of the most popular European coastal resort towns for Brits.

Faro (FAO) Airport is the gateway to the Algarve which is served mainly by European low-cost airlines and a handful of legacy carriers like Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and TAP Air Portugal.

However, there is a single nonstop service from North America operated by Canadian carrier Air Transat from Toronto (YYZ). It operates year-round on Tuesdays, and the lowest round-trip fares I’ve found start at $438.

Alternatively, you should be able to find convenient 1-stop itineraries from many major cities across the U.S. on large network carriers.

Given United’s recent European expansion, it wouldn’t surprise me if the airline decided to tap into the Portuguese leisure market sometime soon.

There’s a bus service that takes passengers between Albufeira and the airport which will cost you around $8 each way. From there, you’d have to hop in a taxi to take you to the hotel. You could also jump in a taxi at the airport. You can expect to pay around $45 for the 30-mile journey to the hotel.

Booking

I’m always tempted by Marriott’s “Prepay and Save” option as you can end up saving a significant chunk of money by booking this way.

W Algarve booking Prepay and Save
“Prepay and Save” rates. Image Credit: Marriott

I could have saved €55 (~$53) per night — or about $212 in total — if I’d paid in advance. But in this day and age, I’d rather pay a little bit more for the peace of mind of not being charged should unforeseen circumstances arise that would require me to cancel my trip.

W Algarve booking standard rates
Standard rates. Image Credit: Marriott

I decided to go for the “Member Opening Offer” of €469 (~$463) per night.

W Algarve booking Deals and Packages
The “Deals and Packages” rates. Image Credit: Marriott

I always check out the terms and conditions of my rate to make sure I’m up to speed with all that my booking entitles me to.  Note the €75 (~$75) hotel credit.

W Algarve booking rate details
Rate details. Image Credit: Marriott

Once I’d made my booking, I scrolled down the page and saw the following message:

W Algarve booking start upgrade request
Suite upgrade? Yes, please! Image Credit: Marriott

I already had in mind that I’d use some of my Suite Night Awards for this stay, so of course, I clicked Start Upgraded Request. 

Hot Tip: Suite Night Awards are available as a Choice Benefit to those Marriott Bonvoy Elite members that complete 50 and 75 Qualifying Nights annually. 

I was greeted with no fewer than 6 options for applying my Suite Night Awards. I selected the top 3 in hopes of getting at least 1 of those, and not just a slightly upgraded room.

W Algarve booking upgrade options
My upgrade options. Image Credit: Marriott

And just like that, my request was made.

W Algarve booking upgrade request confirmation
All set! Image Credit: Marriott

There are a bunch of U.S.-based Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cards to choose from, including the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card that would have earned me a whopping 17x points per dollar spent on this stay!

Back to my Suite Night Upgrades — I’d never used this perk before, so I had no idea whether it would pay off.

But it did — and then some. Five days before I was due to check in, I received the email below confirming that not only had I been upgraded, but I’d been awarded my second preference: A Marvellous 2-bedroom Residence.

I literally could not wait to arrive.

W Algarve upgrade confirmed
Upgraded confirmed! Image Credit: Marriott

Checking In

There’s no mistaking where you are when you pull up outside the property.

W Algarve entrance
The brand’s signature giant W.

My bags were whisked from the trunk and onto a luggage cart almost instantly upon arrival.

W Algarve arrival
No, really, they insisted.

I hadn’t even stepped into the building and already had a good feeling about this place.

I stepped across the welcome mat for the first time and saw that the ostentatious glam I find to be a little too much for my taste in some W hotels was nowhere to be seen.

Instead, I was welcomed by an effective, modern design employing straight lines juxtaposed against dramatic curves, and a classy and cool array of stony greys contrasted against a splash of blues, aquas, and turquoises — a quintessential Portuguese color palette.

W Algarve lobby bem vindo
Welcome to the W Algarve.

Before heading to the front desk, I was distracted by the offer of a welcome drink. My original plan was to head to the gym to sweat out some of the sins of a few late nights of drinking, but I just couldn’t resist a freshly poured glass of bubbles.

W Algarve arrival welcome drink
A freshly poured welcome drink is always, well, welcome.

Drink in hand, I passed the main entrance opposite the gorgeous display of colored plates and headed to the end of the corridor for check-in.

W Algarve lobby view to reception
To the left is the Market Kitchen restaurant and to the right is the reception.

My “Marvellous Residence” wasn’t quite ready, which was to be expected given my late-morning arrival. At least for once, thanks to my Suite Night Awards, I didn’t have to ask if my Marriott Bonvoy status had afforded me an upgrade.

W Algarve reception
Reception.

I headed out to sit by the pool for a couple of hours before going back to reception around 3 p.m. to find that my room was indeed ready for me.

Amenities

From relaxing at the beach and getting your morning workout in at the gym to indulging in a spa treatment and splashing around in the pool, the W Algarve has you covered.

Beach Access

The W doesn’t have a private beach, but there is direct access through the hotel’s grounds to one of the Algarve’s many cute rocky inlet beaches.

Signs will point you in the right direction from the main hotel.

W Algarve directions to beach
This way to the beach.

A short walk downhill in the glorious sunshine will lead you to Praia do Evaristo. There you’ll find a restaurant — also named Evaristo — and sun loungers with palapas available to rent.

W Algarve beach
Let’s go to the beach.

I only headed down for a brief moment, but it looked like a nice place to relax if prefer the beach to the pool.

Be prepared to break a sweat on the uphill journey back to the hotel. Come to think of it, I’m sure you could arrange for a buggy to come and pick you up.

W Algarve Whatever Whenever sign
A reminder that it’s “Whatever Whenever” at W hotels.

Gym

If keeping fit and active while traveling is important to you, you’ll appreciate the gym at the W Algarve.

Rather than a regular rope pulley machine, the W opted for a kinesis machine.

W Algarve gym kinesis
Kinesis machine.

And the hotel switched out regular treadmills for the type that controls the speed according to how fast you run.

W Algarve gym treadmills
Unique treadmills.

There was an array of weight-lifting equipment …

W Algarve gym equipment
Gym equipment.

… including a Smith machine …

W Algarve gym guided bar rack
Smith machine.

… and a decline bench — rarely found in a hotel gym.

W Algarve gym barbell rack
Decline bench.

The set of dumbbells with a maximum weight of 22 kilograms (48.5 pounds) was better than nothing.

W Algarve gym dumbbells
Dumbbell rack.

The space outside could be used for individual workouts in the open air …

W Algarve gym bikes
Spin, anyone?

… as well as trainer-led group workouts that happened at various times throughout the day.

W Algarve gym class
Fitness first.

Oh, and I’m sure that the views of the hotel, water fountain, and grounds stretching down to the sea are leagues above the view from your gym at home.

W Algarve gym view
Wouldn’t it be nice to have this workout view every day?

Parking

The W Algarve offers complimentary on-site valet parking to guests, excluding any tips you may choose to leave.

Pool

In true W style, and just like the rest of the hotel, the pool was a truly unique space where I loved hanging out. I relaxed there during the weekend, worked for a couple of hours during the weekday, and ate lunch at the poolside restaurant. More on that later.

W Algarve pool wide angle
Welcome to the pool.

The pool is split into an upper and lower level that are separated by this infinity-style waterfall.

W Algarve split level pool
Cascading water from the split-level pool.

The shape of the pool and even the hotel’s structure echo the same curved design that I touched upon earlier. A nod to the sea? Perhaps, but it’s certainly pleasing to the eye.

W Algarve pool colors
The lower pool.

Bright pink towels were laid neatly on the loungers each morning.

W Algarve pool and towel set up
Pops of hot pink.

Should I have needed more towels throughout the day, towel and water stations were positioned in various locations on the pool deck.

W Algarve pool towel and water station
Towel and water station.

The pool was pretty even under overcast skies.

W Algarve pool reflections
Gloomy reflections.

Thankfully, it wasn’t cloudy every day and I got to spend some downtime in the sunshine.

W Algarve pool lounging
Every hotel should have bright-pink towels.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi was readily available throughout the hotel and worked fine even when I was by the pool. I had no issues downloading, uploading, or streaming content.

The Room — My ‘Marvellous Residence’

At first, when I found out I’d been upgraded to a “residence” instead of a suite, I was disappointed given that I’d used 4 of my precious Suite Night Awards.

What I failed to remember, though, was that the Marvellous Residence I had bid for was a higher room category than a suite. So my slight disappointment led to shock and awe when I entered my room for the first time.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence 3701
Welcome to Marvellous Residence 3701 at the W Algarve.

I walked around, jaw on the floor, for at least 10 minutes while taking in all the marvellousness that was to be my residence for the next 4 nights.

Of all the “pinch me” moments I’ve had in this job, this was up there in the top 5 for sure.

The Master Suite

I’ll start with my sleeping quarters — the Master Suite. It featured a huge bed as the centerpiece of the spacious room.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master bedroom
The bed in pride-of-place.

Rather than a headboard, an intricately decorated glass window and a shelf with a couple of lamps, bottles of water, a telephone, and an alarm clock that had an annoyingly loud “tick” separated the bed from the bathroom.

The fish-shaped pillow added a dash of color and even more personality to the room.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence bed
Needless to say, I moved the ticking alarm clock far from earshot at night.

Opening the electric blinds every morning revealed this view out across the hotel grounds to the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Bliss.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence morning view
I’ve had worse morning views.

The bedroom and half of the bathroom occupied the same space.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master bathroom into bedroom and terrace
I’m a fan of the all-in-one bathroom/bedroom that upscale hotels seem to be adopting more and more these days.

However, doors still separated the huge shower room and water closet in the name of privacy.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence loo and shower
The toilet closet and shower room.

The minimalist, almost brutalist-style walk-in shower was bigger than my entire bathroom at home.

It had both a rainfall and regular shower head.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master shower
The showerheads.

I loved the stunning blue-and-white tile mosaic that poured down one of the walls and across the floor like a waterfall.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master bathroom
I want those blue and white tiles all over my apartment at home.

You’ll notice the requisite hotel robe hanging up, too.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master robe and tiles
The robe.

At the double vanity were all the amenities you could wish for from a hotel bathroom — apart from a full-length mirror. There was only a small pull-out circular mirror, which would have been great for makeup application but not ideal for a full outfit check before heading out to dinner.

Towels were folded and hidden away neatly in drawers.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master bathroom double sinks
The double vanity.

Face towels, MOMO shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner, as well as beauty products by the brand /skin regimen/ were displayed on a small amenity box.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master bathroom amenities
Bathroom amenities.

Inside the drawer were a make-up removal pad, a shaving kit, a nail and shower kit, and a dental kit.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence guest room bathroom foil wrapped amenities
More amenities.

The vegetable hand soap was also by /skin regimen/.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master bathroom soap
Hand soap by /skin regimen/.

Also at the sink were 2 further complimentary bottles of water that were replenished each day. More hotels need to take a leaf out of the W’s playbook and ensure that all their complimentary water bottles are made from more sustainable materials than plastic.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master bathroom water
Drink up.

In the evenings there was a turndown service that included chocolates left on the pillow. The fact that I only ate half of one on the first night says a lot about the quality.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence master light feature
Bedroom post-turndown service.

Not shown is the huge walk-in closet area right at the far corner of the bedroom.

The ‘Guest Room’

What “residence” would be complete without a second bedroom? It was just off the kitchen area close to the front door. I named it the “guest room,” and it proved to be perfect for my friend Jean and his husband Maui who stayed there for 3 of the 4 nights.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence view from kitchen to guest room
View from the kitchen into the guest bedroom.

They enjoyed their own private space that had ample storage and as equally a stunning design as the master suite.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence guest room storage and view into bathroom
Not a bad place for guests!

Attached was a bathroom that boasted all the same amenities as I had in my bathroom …

W Algarve Marvellous Residence guest room bathroom
The second bedroom’s ensuite bathroom.

… including, of course, a never-ending supply of glass bottles of water.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence guest room water
The W loves to make sure its guests are hydrated.

The mirror game in this bathroom was far better than in my master suite.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence guest room bathroom mirror
Mirror goals.

The Living Space

I wouldn’t be surprised if the stunning open-plan living space in the Marvellous Residence was almost as big as my entire 2-bedroom apartment in Newcastle, U.K.

The huge L-shaped sofa was placed right in front of the sliding doors that led to the terrace and stunning views of the sea.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence living area golden hour
L-shaped sofa.

Or you could choose to cozy up and stream a show to the sleek flat-screen TV.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence TV streaming
The TV.

The design of the space was very easy on the eye. I enjoyed the green-and-blue-striped cushions that added the perfect pop of color.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence sofa
Interior design flex.

In the middle of the room was a long work-station-breakfast-bar-combo that had a couple of stools.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence living space golden hour
Breakfast bar.

This connected to the full kitchen that came equipped with everything you’d need to cook a proper feast, including an electric stove top and a dishwasher.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence full kitchen
The full kitchen.

The non-chilled contents of the minibar were on display on the countertop, making it all the more tempting to snack.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence mini bar
Mini bar contents.

If the 2 ensuite bathrooms weren’t enough, there was a small powder room located at the entrance to the Residence.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence bathroom number 3
The toilet room.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s check out the terrace.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence view from living space to terrace
The terrace ran the full width of the Residence with access from the bedroom and the main living space.

The Terrace

I spent many enjoyable moments out here.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence terrace
The terrace looks out over the pool.

I’d head out here first thing in the morning to swing in the seat while sipping on an espresso and completing my daily Duolingo lessons.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence terrace swinging egg chair
Swinging egg chair on the terrace.

And at regular points throughout the day I’d find myself just gazing out toward the sea.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence terrace view of sea
You just can’t beat a sea view.

And the sunsets were extraordinary.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence terrace horizon sunset
Wow.

As darkness fell, the scenery changed again with the lights and colors of the pool taking center stage against the dusk sky.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence pool colours at dusk
The pool at dusk.

If it weren’t for the mosquitoes, I’d have probably slept out here.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence terrace view at dusk
The terrace by night.

The terrace was also extremely private — neighboring rooms couldn’t see in.

Food and Beverage

If you like good food, you’ll like the W Algarve — especially the breakfast.

Market Kitchen

Breakfast: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m
Lunch: 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

The W’s signature restaurant — Market Kitchen — is situated on the lower ground level.

W Algarve Market Kitchen from above
Looking from the entrance level mezzanine over into Market Kitchen.

As with the rest of the hotel, the design of the space was just stunning.

W Algarve Market Kitchen sculpture
Welcome to Market Kitchen.

You could choose to sit inside one of the bright yellow seats.

W Algarve Market Kitchen seating
Every restaurant needs canary yellow seats.

Or, if you prefer alfresco dining, you could pick a seat outside on the terrace.

W Algarve Market Kitchen terrace
Breakfast à la terrasse.

If you love your breakfast as much as me, you’ll love the breakfast down at Market Kitchen.

For starters, it had the biggest selection of fruit I can recall from all the hotels I’ve stayed at.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast fruit
You’ll easily get your 5 a day here.

I loved to start my day with a colorful bowl of fruit.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast fruit bowl
The freshest, tastiest, juiciest fruit.

In addition to the usual suspects at a breakfast buffet, like cereals, pastries, and cold cuts, there were a couple of items worth a special shout-out.

First up is the pumpkin jelly. Not only is it delicious, but “abóbora” is a great word to say.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast jams
Pumpkin jelly.

The W served up fresh pastel de nata — the most popular Portuguese pastry that you must try if you’re in Portugal.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast pastel de nata
Pastel de nata.

I also want to highlight this sourdough that hit the spot every morning.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast bread
Sourdough goals.

The hot buffet options didn’t disappoint either.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast hot buffet
The hot buffet.

The fluffy American-style pancakes also hit the spot …

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast American pancakes
Pancake deliciousness.

… as did this delightful shakshuka.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast shakshuka
Shakshuka.

A chef was on hand each morning to serve up eggs any style. You could order with your server or directly with the chef.

The egg-white omelet was a particular favorite. The lovely Lay from Bahia, Brazil, was particularly good at making them.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast omelet
Egg white omelet.

If you’re celebrating, carrying on from the night before, or just fancy it, there was sparkling wine available on ice. You could have it straight up or combine it with orange juice to make a refreshing mimosa.

W Algarve Market Kitchen breakfast bubbles
Bubbles for breakfast, anyone?

Once breakfast is over, the buffet setup on the bar top is removed and the stools are put back.

W Algarve Market Kitchen
Market Kitchen after breakfast.

Paper Moon

Dinner: 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Wednesday through Sunday)

Paper Moon is the W Algarve’s restaurant that’s located on the top floor above the gym.

W Algarve Paper Moon from outside
Just look up when you’re by the main hotel building and you’ll see the sign.

On your way, you’ll pass through Sea Sky — the hotel’s rooftop terrace bar.

W Algarve Sea Sky
Sea Sky.

When the sky is clear, Sea Sky is likely the best spot in the hotel to watch the sunset.

W Algarve Sea Sky view
The view from Sea Sky.

Inside, Paper Moon is a beautifully decorated bar with a top-shelf liquor selection.

W Algarve Paper Moon bar
The bar at Paper Moon.

Much like the rest of the hotel, there was nothing other than great things to be said about the aesthetic and design of Paper Moon.

W Algarve Paper Moon design
Effortlessly exquisite.

I dined here with my friends — and we went a little wild with our order.

To start, we shared a selection of bread.

W Algarve Paper Moon breads
Did you even go out for dinner if you didn’t have bread?

This was followed swiftly by a garlic truffle pizza which we demolished in no time at all.

W Algarve Paper Moon truffle pizza
I could eat this all day, every day.

For mains, Maui was craving pasta so he went for the clam spaghetti, also known as spaghetti alla vongole.

W Algarve Paper Moon Spaghetti Alle Vongole
Spaghetti alla vongole.

Jean and I decided we’d share the salt-encrusted fish of the day, which was seabass.

W Algarve Paper Moon salted seabass
An image of the nicest seabass I’ve ever had.

It was brought to our table, delicately de-boned, and then served up for our enjoyment. And enjoy it we did.

W Algarve Paper Moon salted seabass serving
It doesn’t get much better.

To accompany our fish, we ordered sides of mashed potatoes, spinach, and grilled veggies.

W Algarve Paper Moon sides
Sides.

I don’t know exactly how much the bill came to as I was treated by my lovely friends, so here’s a link to the menu so that you can get an idea of prices.

Room Service

Sometimes when I travel all I want to do to curl up with a room service meal and Netflix.

I usually keep it simple with my orders and avoid meat, where possible, so dishes like this spaghetti with pomodoro sauce are my usual go-to options.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence spaghetti pomodoro room service
Spaghetti Pomodoro.

I thought the pasta was a great value at €14 (~$14), however, the €8 (~$8) in-room dining charge … not so much. With a tip, I laid out €26 (~$26) for a bowl of spaghetti. That might not seem like a lot in U.S. dollars, but that’s a very expensive bowl of pasta in British pounds (which, as you probably know, has taken a shellacking recently).

Sip @ Wet Deck

As I didn’t stray far from the hotel during the day, I enjoyed my lunches on the Wet Deck, the W Algarve’s poolside bar/restaurant.

W Algarve pool and Sip @ Wet
Sip @ Wet Deck.

My favorite spot was this table right on the edge of the pool.

W Algarve Sip @ Wet poolside dining
Poolside seating.

The menu was a simple yet sufficient selection of quick bites, sandwiches, and bowls.

W Algarve Sip @ WET menu
Wet Deck menu.

I highly recommend the poké bowls.

W Algarve Sip @ Wet poké bowl close up
As delicious as it was colorful.

I’m a cheesecake lover and I caved when need of a sugar-fueled pick-me-up. The thick crust did not disappoint.

W Algarve Sip @ Wet cheesecake
Cheesecake dreams are made of this.

W Lounge

Finally, there’s the W Lounge — a lobby bar serving all the drinks in addition to light bites.

W Algarve lobby view to W Lounge bar
You’ll see the W Lounge to the left as soon as you enter the hotel.

Just look at those hanging light fixtures and decorations.

W Algarve W Lounge bar
The decor gets a 10/10. Are we surprised?

As for the main inside seating area, I couldn’t get enough of the aesthetic.

W Algarve W Lounge seating
Under-the-sea vibes.

I particularly enjoyed the detail in the stained-glass structure that was suspended like wings over some of the seating options.

W Algarve W Lounge symmetry
This isn’t your grandmother’s living room.

Here’s a close-up for even more appreciation.

W Algarve W Lounge design close up
Simply stunning.

A door from the main bar led out onto the outside part of the W Lounge.

W Algarve W Lounge bar
Looking through to the W Lounge’s outside terrace.

Out there, you’ll find another bar with plenty of seating.

W Algarve W Lounge outside bar
The outside bar.

There’s also a selection of high-top tables.

W Algarve W Lounge outside bar seating
High-top tables at the outside bar.

Hotel Grounds and Design

It would have been a disservice had I just weaved in my snaps of the W’s decor and design into the review itself as I normally do. I had to give a final shout-out to the beautiful design and architecture of this space.

Even just pulling up the driveway is a feast for the eyes — especially at night.

W Algarve drive
Pulling up the driveway to the hotel’s entrance.

Given the newness of the hotel, the trees that were planted in the gardens of the ground floor rooms have a little more growing to do before they provide the privacy they’re intended for.

W Algarve room gardens
The lush green gardens.

I was obsessed with this curved facade.

W Algarve exterior wall design
It just works so well.

And just look at these quintessential Portuguese tiles.

W Algarve design floor tiles
Portugal knows how to do tiles.

Even the door handles were a cut above the rest.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence design handles
I want these for my doors at home.

Service

I loved every single interaction I had at the W Algarve. I even ran into the General Manager, Cajaetan Araujo, in the gym. I told him that he should be so proud of the team he has working in his hotel. And it’s clear from my interactions with hotel staff that they love their jobs and genuinely want to be there.

I had barely settled in before I heard a knock on the door. I opened it to find 2 W staffers who were excited to present me with the bottle of sparkling wine I requested as my welcome gift, as well as an additional platter of chocolates and a cute welcome card.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence Marriott Bonvoy welcome gift
What a welcome.

I should probably say at this point that this welcome treatment was because of my Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status and not because I had informed the hotel before arriving that I would be coming to review my experience.

Things got off to a great start with André who checked me in.

W Algarve staff André from reception
André at the front desk.

And I want to give a huge “thank you” to another André. He took the W’s “Whatever Whenever” mantra to the next level by heading out and getting me the açaí that I was craving even though the hotel didn’t serve it. Every hotel needs an André — or multiple Andrés.

W Algarve staff André
Make sure to track down André during your stay.

Make sure to look out for João, too.

W Algarve staff João
Hitching a lift with João.

I also enjoyed a daily turndown complete with chocolates.

But before I finish, I have 1 more thing to mention regarding housekeeping.

Whenever I check in to a hotel now, I request that my towels and sheets aren’t changed during my stay. Reducing housekeeping is something we can all do to help minimize our carbon footprint when traveling.

Anyway, for the first 2 days, I had my request granted. However, on the third (and penultimate) morning, I came back to my room to find that the sheets were being cleaned.

I’m sure this is just hotel protocol and that my request probably got lost with the changing of staff, but I think hotels could do more to persuade their guests (or at least give them the option) to opt-out of daily housekeeping.

W Algarve Marvellous Residence housekeeping
Unnecessary, unwanted housekeeping.

Final Thoughts

W Algarve pool selfie
Contemplating never leaving.

The W Algarve encapsulates everything I look for in a hotel: attention to detail, uniqueness, authentically friendly staff, great food, bedrooms I want to copy and paste into my apartment, and value for money.

A stay at the W doesn’t come cheap, but you get a lot for your cash.

I currently have no plans to head back to Portugal this year, but I will make sure I incorporate a visit into my 2023 plans solely to stay at this W again.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is the W Algarve from the beach?

The W Algarve is a short 5- to 10-minute walk downhill through the hotel grounds.

When did the W Algarve open?

The W Algarve opened on June 1, 2022.

How far is the W Algarve from the closest airport?

The closest airport is Faro (FAO), which is around 45 minutes away from the W Algarve.

Is there a pool at the W Algarve?

Yes there is a huge split-level pool at the W Algarve.

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About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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